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of dollars. people are afraid to intervene. they become absent minded bystanders. they prefer not to look and see. they believe all the responsibility has to go to the authorities.the guy in aurora it example. 2/3 of the mass killings showed signs of debilitating mental illness. someone should have stepped forward. host: teresa in oklahoma, you are on the air.
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caller: thank you for taking my call. i think we need to go back one more step. how about these videos and these games? i have a 12-year-old grandson. it was a video game that played plan only. -- plays violently. his dad allows him to watch these violent movies and played these violent, violent video games. he thinks that it's ok. i said, that is not parenting. even if your child is not mentally ill or has a problem, what are they watching?
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guest: that is a good point. almost all people calling for more gun control make no mention of any restrictions of our first amendment rights. look, i do not want to control hollywood or video games. quentin tarantino has a new film out in which a bunch of white people get massacred because they are owning slaves and it is a massacre. i know the city has canceled the los angeles premiere of this film. i think some self restraint is in order. i do not believe gratuitous violence does not help the situation. i do not want to curtail our first or second amendment rights of the constitution.
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host: there is this headline in "the washington post" this morning. host: does that need to be looked at as well? guest: we had much more of a country that still restricted alcohol after prohibition four decades ago. that is one reason atf has fewer agents.
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canada tried to register the firearms and tried for over 10 years and finally dropped it. that didn't work out. i am not saying we shouldn't keep better records. fbi and other agencies should look at the background of everyone. i am not an expert in all these areas. having this debate where everybody blames the gun and everybody says it is the people involved on the other side, that is too simplistic. we have to put everything on the table. we can debate everything.
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we should debate our mental health situation. connecticut does not allow forced medication for people that are mentally ill. and our gun-free zone policy, which obviously has not worked. host: "the washington post" also notes -- host: joe from maryland. caller: my name is joe and i'm watching this on the news and everything. i make vietnam veteran with
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ptsd. this has headed lake-effect on me. -- has had a big effect on me. we have to do something to prevent that from happening again. we have to look at the other side. there were 2500 instances last year were private citizens carrying handguns illegally stopped murders and thefts of other gunmen. so we cannot just slam and the terry those that are legal. we have to give them their rights. with the video games, too. ban guns and say you cannot have a gun in the house.
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you can have all the video games. i have seen the children. host: mar. fund. guest: there is a desensitization of violence. that will be a responsibility largely of parents. society is somewhat limited in what they can do less wants to foolishly tried to ban something. there are hundreds of millions of video games out there. we are not going to bring them back. we can manage this problem. we cannot have a risk-free society.
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we have to deal with the situation as we have it. host: david writes an opinion piece this morning. he writes this -- according to a study, the number of hospital beds has plummeted per 100,000 people. is that the role of the state government to increase the amount of beds available? guest: it is privately the role of the states. this is where liberals like the democratic legislature in
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states like illinois are grappling with -- we have so many of our state resources being taken now by pensions and by various wealth transfers. the basic jobs of government -- infrastructure, mental health -- are being starved of money. eventually if we let these pension programs grow, we will crowd out money for everything else we are trying to do. we have to reestablish our priorities. that is scandalous. we do not want to go back to that time and back to
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institutionalizing people. but we can achieve a better balance. we should wait until somebody achieves violence -- that is often the standard that is used. we have to wait until they do physical harm to someone. that can lead to tragedy is that we have seen where people with mental health problems and nothing was done about it. host: we have this from twitter. ira, go ahead. caller: good morning. i had an experience yesterday while traveling. served four years in the marines. i have seen my share of violence in the military and in the streets of our country.
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i am in my 60's. i walk up to the place. there is a young man and a young lady there. the young man is strapped. automatic pistol on his side. without hesitation, i said, good morning, young man. what is that you have on your side? he said, it's a gun. "is it a real gun?" "why do you need to bring it into this place?" "i have a right to carry in north carolina." i did not know the state law. as i went in, i ask for a seat
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the manager. i said, "there is a man carrying an exposed pistol on his side and it has me uncomfortable." my wife said, "be quiet." "i cannot sit here and next to this guy." my wife got nervous. "we should just leave." "we are leaving. i am uncomfortable after connecticut.
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there is a young man under 30 carrying a handgun. i don't know if there is a round in the chamber. an accidental deal." if we all carry guns and somebody started shooting, there will be more people dead. there are folks that could try to do good and miss. guest: certainly there could be abuses. people what permits have to pass various tests and training. the rate of their abuse is no greater than that of police officers. the vast majority of people are law abiding. the restaurant has the right to say we do not want people with guns in restaurants.
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would it have made the caller feel better if the person had followed the concealed carry law and simply hidden it on his person? you wouldn't have known he had a gun but he would have won anyway. he would have the right to conceal his weapon as well. host: this is steve on twitter. guest: well, that was said after aurora and after gabby giffords in tucson. the polls never budged after those.
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the supreme court ruled clearly that the second amendment is an individual right. the way to change that is to have a change in the constitution. again, you can argue with the world the way you wish it or the way in which it is. deal with the realities we have. the firearms are not going away. what are we going to do about law abiding people that want to protect themselves and others? that is the issue. host: another tweet for you.
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guest: the nra will have to speak for itself. i never understood why if you buy a gun at a gun show there should be less of a reporting of a background check then if you went into a store. most of this ground would have been there before, there it was after columbine or the cafeteria in texas. the texas incident is a tragic one. there was a woman that had a gun. she was going into the cafeteria and have begun with her. -- and she had it with her. she decided to leave it in her car. 10 minutes later, a gunman showed up and she has lived with guilt her entire life.
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if she had her gun, she could of taking him out within a few seconds. we have to look at the world as it is. the firearms are not going away. host: john fund, "national review," thank you for your time. >> on wed.'s washington journal, a discussion on mental-health issues. representative tim murphy of pennsylvania and grace napolitano of california. francisco negron gives his perspective on how school boards are developing and implementing
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emergency plans. later, we hear from the editor of the atlantic. he will talk about his recent pieces about the rise of manufacturing in the u.s. washington journal, live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> house speaker john boehner today proposed letting tax rates go up on income above $1 million as a short-term step to avoid some of the fiscal cliff. the white house and democratic leaders rejected his offer. we will hear from speaker boehner next. we will also get reaction from democratic house members and senators and later, a news conference with the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. >> our first experience was to come in a different way than every family up here. after dad was sworn in, we took a picture of the family behind
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the oval office desk. that night, we did not get to move into the white house because nixon have left so quickly, they left their doctor -- daughter and son in law to pack all their clothes and belongings. we had to go back to our little house in alexandria, virginia. the neighborhood was surrounded by secret service. we had in the boehner -- we had been living there. that night, mom was cooking dinner. we were sitting around the dinner table and she looks over at my dad and goes jerry, something is wrong here. he just became president of the united states and i am still cooking. [laughter] >> steve ford, general and barbara bush on growing up in the white house. part of four days from american
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history tv, right through christmas day on c-span3. >> next, house speaker john boehner on negotiations with president obama on the so-called fiscal cliff. the president has said he could accept tax increases for households earning $400,000 or more per year. speaker boehner now says he could except tax increases on those earning more than $1 million a year. this briefing is about 10 minutes. >> we hope to reach a balanced approach. but we have offered meets the definition of balance. the president is not there yet. the white house yesterday offered $1.30 trillion in new revenues for only $850 billion in net spending reductions. that is not balanced in my opinion.
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we will continue to talk with the president and also move to plan b. we all know every income tax filer in america is going to pay a higher rate come january 1 unless congress acts. i believe it is important we protect as many american taxpayers as we can. our plan be -- b will protect american taxpayers to make $1 million or less and have all other current rates extended. i continue to have hope we can reach a broader agreement with the white house that would reduce its spending as well as have revenues on the table. it would be better for our country. at this point, having a backup plan to make sure as to american taxpayers are affected by this increase as possible, moving down that path is the right course of action for us. >> good morning.
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all our hearts and prayers are with the families in newtown, conn. as a father, i cannot imagine the under her -- the utter horrow those families are going through right now, grieving the loss of their children and loved ones. as the speaker said, we remain committed to try to minimize the impact on hard-working families and small businesses in this country as far as tax increases are concerned. we look to find the answer on the spending issue here in washington. the president has not come to or he needs to be in order for us to push through a bill that begins to address the problem. we are now discussing an alternative plan. if the president and the white house cannot come our way.
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thank you. >> we have been trying to make sure we didn't go off this fiscal cliff. at the same time, put america on a different path. the speaker felt maybe he was negotiating with himself after plan after plan and the president stayed silent. we heard nothing but silence. today we have to go to plan b. we want to make sure we do not call off the cliff and that we keep an economy where jobs can be created. we have to remember where we are in the situation. we are two months into a new fiscal year.
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we are $292 billion in debt. revenues are up by 10%, $30 billion. the sad reality is spending is up 16%, $87 billion. that is where the problem lies. an america that can create jobs. >> the clock continues to tick and we're days from the end of the year. the best gift we can give is an agreement. give certainty to our small business owners said they can pursue that innovation and prove to the american people that we can get our job done.
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that is the best christmas gift and i'm confident that we can get it done. is our moment. now we ask the president to join us in that effort. >> republicans have gone above and beyond to work with the president and democrats to negotiate this deal and americans can no longer afford to have for cake and eat it, too. our debt is growing faster than our economy. tax revenue will be eaten up by medicare, medicaid, social security, and the interest on our debt. national security will have to
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be furnished with borrowed money. the president did not support a plan that would address our long-term spending problem. we cannot afford for the american people to keep struggling. spending cuts are required at this time. americans deserve a solution. the president should meet us halfway. >> what is your definition of a balanced deal? >> most people would agree that that is balanced. >> does it have to be exactly -- >> we don't have a balanced
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plant when the president is calling for $1.3 trillion in revenue. >> the nation is still in mourning. what kind of effect will that have? blasting the country wants to see is a long drawn-out battle. >> this is a difficult time for americans. we continue to have hope that we can reach an agreement. it is not a time to put americans through more stress. >> what would plan b mean -- which to incorporate any of that into the legislation? >> we continue to look at how
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we would address those issues as we put this bill together. dealing with the issue of the alternative minimum tax and with the debt tax be part of the bill would bring to the floor. we would not deal with the sequester. >> how close we say the president's plan? >> i would put a trillion dollars of revenue on the table if he would put a trillion dollars of spending on the table. >> how adamant that medicare eligibility age needs to be part of this?
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some people think this is an arbitrary cut. >> there are a lot of issues on the table. that issue has been on and off the table. it is an issue for discussion. it is an issue if congress were to do tax reform, that issue will certainly be open to debate in that context. thanks. >> we will now hear from house democrats, john larson from connecticut, announced a task force on gun violence in wake of
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the school shooting in his home state. democrats also reacted to the fiscal cliff negotiation and speaker boehner's latest offer. this is about 25 minutes. >> good morning. we have completed our democratic caucus. we are proud of our members and the unity expressed and solidarity with the citizens of newtown, connecticut, and for those children and adults who lost their lives last friday. there was a lot of discussion and we have seen far too much violence and loss of life which
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seems to has -- seems to have identified -- intensified. the feeling of his caucus is i believe the feeling all around the country -- enough is enough. we heard from chris murphy, senator alike and the current representative from newtown talking about the community and how it has responded, this new england, small-town. as the president of the united states said, it has been inspirational in terms of how they have dealt with this tragedy. tragedy, from everything from the first responders arriving on the scene to the teachers and administrators and the way that
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they executed a plan that saved children's lives and those valiant who put themselves in the way of the assassin to save the lives of children. we are resolved in our caucus that the time to act is now and that we know taking no action is to be complicit to a future event. we announce today that we will have a task force that will serve to coordinate all of our efforts. we know that this is a comprehensive issue. we know that it is not just restrictions that need to be placed on guns but also the issues of mental illness, the culture of violence, and youth violence specifically.
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members of our caucus from carolyn mccarthy to grace napolitano to bobby scott and countless others who have been working on these issues for years, we are going to address this in a comprehensive way. mike thompson step today and we have tapped him to lead this effort in court nation. a hunter, a vietnam veteran, a wounded vietnam veteran who spoke both from his heart and also with the common-sense practical measures that he has become noted for in his service in congress in the ways and means committee and the large respect that the members of the caucus have for him.
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we will have mike address this issue. mike? >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you all for being here. what happened in connecticut similar to what is happening everyplace else, there has been done violence and it is rotten to the court and it has to stop. we have to address all the issues that play into what happened in connecticut. i am a gun owner and a hunter. i have been one for as long as i can remember.
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i was trained with an assault weapon when i was in the army and i was given one went i went to vietnam. i carry that rifle until i was wounded in vietnam. i do not see that changing. i know that this is not a war on guns. gun owners and hunters have every right to own legitimate guns for legitimate purposes. we are not going to take law abiding citizens' gun away from them. i also know that our communities and neighborhoods and society receive no benefit from military-type weapons on the streets or assault clips in the hands of anyone.
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we will bring about sensible gun laws. this is not new. you cannot own fully automatic weapons or sawed-off shotguns. there are restrictions. we to make sure our children and our community is as safe as we can possibly making it and i've been asked to coordinate the effort. >> the unanimity in our caucus in everybody that spoke who's experienced whether it be columbine or aurora or in portland or in connecticut, our
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caucus remains united in this effort. for those of us in connecticut, it was especially heartening to see the reaction and the commitment. our caucus as we plan to have another caucus this afternoon, as we learn about the details of what the president's reaction will be. we remain united behind our president and his efforts on the front of ending the culture of violence that has permeated this country and the necessity for a long discussion, a deep dialogue over protecting our children and also his efforts to
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bring fiscal sanity to this process and prevent us from reaching are going over this fiscal cliff. we stand united behind our president and we will be meeting later this afternoon. i would like to have the vice chair and chair-elect of the caucus, xavier becerra. >> i applaud you for all the work you have done to try to address the needs of all the victims and their families. i share in the comments of my colleague and friend from california and what he has said and he will be a great leader on this issue.
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as much as the words have been important, we hope they have been somewhat soothing. you can express anything to satisfy yourself and the families of the victims. it has been important would try to communicate all of the families that are victims today and all the people in connecticut trying to help these families. we all stand with them. those words must be followed by deeds. we must act. we're looking for it to work under the leadership of mike thompson. we have a lot to do. we're thankful the president has
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said something must be done. we will have our words fall by deeds. than the yield to the vice-chair elect. >> thank you, xavier. all three of my children were born while i have been a member of congress. i have a little guy that is 7 years old. yesterday i learned of a boy named ben wheeler who rides from times square to citi field. i love the seven line as well and so did my kids. saw in that face my own little boy. for all of us, that has to strike home.
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it did for me and my family. this event is unique in the innocence that was lost. with little children, they were taken and it brings all of us to this table. inaction would be nicollette and would be complicit -- inaction would be neglect and complicit. we should protect whomever we can. we cannot protect everyone from all evil. there are steps we can take reasonably.
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my in-laws are from montana. people enjoy the ability to hunt. i have never done it myself. i understand the meaning of that for my in-laws and for so many people of this country. reasonable steps can be taken to insure the safety of our children in particular can be safeguarded. i thank mike and our republican colleagues who will stand with us as well. i appreciate them taking the action. >> i want to commend our colleague chris murphy who addressed the caucus today and
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led our resolution on the floor last evening and has been on the scene throughout these last several days. i want to commend senator limit fall and lieberman -- and meeting with the families --said her blumenthal -- senator blumenthal. the police officers in newtown and the small village of sandy hook. all they have pulled together and provided inspiration for all of us. the governor of the state of connecticut has been incredible. sunday evening he said with winter approaching, he will
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forever think of these children when gentles knows it begin to fall -- when gentle snows begin to fall as individual snowfalls. he went to talk about the spring and how newtown and sandy hook and the state of connecticut will recover and the flowers will come up and we will think of these children again. but they will always be in our memory. we have a special responsibility as elected members of congress. pen in pad, writing what you do during your moment of service in the united states congress. it is time for the congress to act.
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i am proud of mike taking on this responsibility and the coronation and the short and long-term efforts. we will act. and with that we will take questions. >> speaker boehner has a plan to keep taxes low for those earning under $1 million a year. and that type of plan gain any support from house democrats? >> which plan is that one? speaker boehner has a difficult tasks. we do not know the details of plan a, plan b, or whenever plan c might be.
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we hope it is a process that yields success but we have little details and an awful lot suggestions. our understanding is the speaker's plans have been rejected by his own conference. we will be meeting later. we will wait to hear what our president continues to say in unifying us and the country and we will meet later to discuss it. it is hard to, not knowing the details -- it is hard to comment not knowing the details. we think the president has been operating in good faith. we understand that is what he continues to do.
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we have rob neighbors in our caucus -- rob nabors. he is on his way back to the white house. they need to discuss what has transpired with the speaker and the republican conference, which we do not know all the details either. >> a change in the cpi. kind didn't get into that of discussion. there isn't a concrete plan are details before the caucus. all of you can surmise what people in the caucus have had to say about that.
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until there is a proposal that people will vote on, it seems like a moving target. not much we can comment on. >> in the abstract -- >> that is more than in the abstract. we are not going to comment on that. the nation is in a difficult spot. we expect our leaders to step up. the president continues to step up. but we see resistance. we understand the difficulty that john boehner has with the more recalcitrant members of this caucus. we continue to stand with the president.
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the proposal has to accomplish the goals that he has outlined. we have not seen the kind of response from the other side. >> you said there should not be changes in social security. >> that is right. >> do you see resistance to possible changes in the cpi? >> the president has tried to make it clear he will try to come up with a plan that would be balanced and would address our deficits and still let us move forward to create jobs. many of us have faith the president if he strikes a deal will do was a plan that we can vote on that would provide the fairness and the balance. what the actual elements would be is unclear.
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social security has never contributed a single penny to the deficits and the debt that we face. u.s. americans who have paid taxes into the social security system when those benefits, to ask them to take a cut in their benefits to cover the cost of deficits caused by bush tax cuts that work and paid for or to pay for two wars, doesn't make sense to me. we hope the republicans will cease their push to cut benefits through a change in the eligibility age for medicare beneficiaries, for the change they are requested on social security whether it is the consumer price index change on the cola.
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we would like this to be a fair and balanced approach. the republicans in the house have rejected the run speaker's proposal at this stage. it seems like the real negotiation and fight is among republicans. >> we have said this every week that we have been here since we returned. we have a bill in front of us that we can pass and has been passed by the united states senate. the middle class should not have to endure a tax hike when we have a bill that is ready to go and has the support of democrats and i believe republicans in the house who will join with us on this issue.
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it is the right thing to do on behalf of the middle class. these events that transpired in connecticut and here to demonstrate there is a responsibility on us to act. we have jobs bills that would put the country back to work. these are things we all agree on. democrats and republicans share an interest in making sure the entire middle class and even millionaires get a $250,000 tax break. those are things we agree on. let's resolve these for the people of this country and the middle class and put the country back to work and deal with these issues in a way we know we can come together.
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>> we will leave this briefing and take a live outside the capital. david cicilline is speaking and will be joined by the head of the brady campaign. the news conference just getting under way. >> i like to introduce and thank the president of the brady campaign, dan gross. >> thank you, representative david cicilline. i'm president of the brady campaign and the brady center to prevent gun violence. this event today is not about any organization or any group of organizations. it is about the voices that you will hear today from the people who have been touched by gun violence and everybody in america that wants to live in a safer nation. i would like to have everybody
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here to introduce themselves and tell you why they are here. they need to get something done before we leave here. >> could you vote for the president's plan? >> we are going to be hearing later this afternoon, once we get the full fleshing out of those details, we will have a caucus on that as well and discussed the issues. as i said it also, it seems as though, i think this has been said by the vice chair and by share alike, that the republicans are in a discussion with themselves and what they can potentially agree to and we
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will wait and see but we remain united behind our president in this process. >> i do not know the full details but speaker boehner told reporters he plans to move a bill later to expand the tax cuts for income below $1 million. is that something democrats would object to? you've been calling does not act. >> just now to act. rex democrats would be unified in behind our president. -- >> democrats would be unified and behind our president. >> can add one thing? it is interesting he would ask minority members for the would- be. i think you need to find out of the majority members would support what the speaker has proposed.
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i think people find the majority probably cannot pass its own legislation. >> thank you very much. >> now we will hear from senate majority leader harry reid he says speaker boehner's latest fiscal cliff proposal will not pass the senate. his remarks are under 10 minutes. >> i can remember, i see all this stuff here in the camera. i was a new senator.
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he had a will of thumb. it was not an important meeting unless there were at these six cameras there. this is important enough. now it's time for leadership. we cannot continue to kick the can down the road. that has happened far too long making a compromise requires both sides to make tough choices. today, house republicans are threatening to abandon series the gratian's. i am sorry to say this is a pattern we have seen time and time again. bowles simpson, to rance -- two rounds of all,"-boehner talks, and gang of 8, super committee.
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every time we get something regarding the long-term financial security of this country, they take the ball and jerk it away. this is what they're doing again. republicans have walked away from serious that gratian's of the past three and a half years. as soon as president obama was elected, we started talking about the need to do something for the long-term financial security of this country. compromising takes courage, walking away as they have done is so easy. but there is a small but vocal minority pulling the strings in the republican caucus in the house. the tea party's agenda could not be for the proprieties of middle-class americans. yes, whenever the time comes when republicans -- and if the tea prty wins, the american
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people lose. americans are clear about what they want. democrats, republicans, and attendance. more than 60% of republicans believe the rich should pay more. the once a balanced plan that combines smart spending cuts without asking the wealthiest americans to pay their fair share. the want to protect them the class from having a $2,200 -- the middle-class from having $2,200 tax increase. his so called plan b is allowing people who make up to $1 million not pay more. the believe -- we believe people making less than $250,000 should
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not have to ibert the burden of the problem we have a fiscally. we should forge a large scale balanced approach to deficit reduction. if republicans choose to walk away again, the senate bill guest: >> -- >> i have given statements on this before . we need to accept the reality that we are not doing enough to protect our citizens. i am very happy the president will do whatever he can administratively. we must engage in a thoughtful debate about how to change laws.
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every idea should be on the table as we discuss how best to keep our children safe. i have been very clear here. i think we have to have a full discussion. from the republicans. they have walked away. i admire and appreciate very much the president showing the american people how reasonable he is trying to be. significant tax increases, significant cuts. this is not going to be a
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situation where we will vote on a particular provision in the bill. it will be a framework to do something about the long-term security of the country. >> [indiscernible] >> plan b calls for sending us a bill that, the only thing that raising taxes is on people who make over $1 million. that is it. i was happy to see the last statement in boehner's latest press foray with the says they will not close. i talk to the president here he has not heard a word from boehner today. >> given the other tragic news,
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[indiscernible] >> we have addressed what will happen. it will be finalized tomorrow. >> a threshold of $1 million. why was he wrong? >> in the context, remember we were trying to do something to stimulate the economy. the president took all that away when he recommended and advocated we continue all of the tax cuts. that came up in an entirely different context. everyone should understand boehner's proposal will not pass the senate.
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the most pronounced statement we had in the caucus today was from john. everyone clapped when he finished. we are not going there. that would be unfair and it does nothing to address the problems in the country with the debt. we thought it -- we thought that was their number one thing, the republicans. this is obviously not series if this is their proposal. we will see what he sends us. the plan we have seen is just as we have told you. we have a number of alternatives. thank you.
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>> now, mitch mcconnell and other senate republicans give their take on the fiscal cliff negotiations. senator mcconnell is also asked about legislation to ban assault weapons in wake of the shootings. >> good afternoon, everyone. that in the summer of 2010, the senator said, i do not know a single one of my colleagues who would not prefer to do tax court -- tax breaks for people making up to a million dollars. it is my understanding that is a proposal the house of
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representatives is likely to send over to us later in the week. >> the other thing getting lost is, where are the savings? the president has talked about a balanced plan. as they have tried to negotiate with speaker boehner, it continues to focus on one issue. how much will we waste -- how much will we raise taxes. it is a terrible idea on the weakening economy. 61% of americans believe there has to be a major spending reduction in a fiscal cliff
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deal. what we continue to see in the white house is the very thing that would hurt the economy and hurt jobs. he has no interest in dealing with the federal spending. tenement programs. we need spending solutions. that is where the president has been absent. we hope he will come to the table and engage to reform our entitlement programs so we can save and protect medicare for social security and future generations and put tax policies in place through tax reform that will promote economic growth and job creation in the country. that is what this ought to be about the president right now seems to be obsessed with raising taxes on small businesses and people across the country. >> the deficit numbers confirm exactly what the senator has
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said. we have a spending problem in this country. we are on the course for a fifth year in a row with a deficit of over $1 trillion. this will be the fifth year. the numbers that came out for the first two months show we spend about 4% more than last year, $40 higher than last year. the fiscal cliff provides an opportunity to work together to address those problems so we make sure we save and protect medicare and social security for future generations. >> two topics. my youngest son is 8, in the second grade here my grandchildren are under 10. i think every family in america, every mom and dad and grandparents, every aunt and uncle, every brother and sister, younger or older, last
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week, was shocked by the tragedy those families are dealing with. i told a couple people on friday, whatever you thought your biggest problem this morning probably does not seem like a big problem for most of us right now at all compared to the tragedy those families are dealing with. the second topic would be where we are on taxes. i was getting ready to speak on the senate floor and i looked across at the person speaking before me. they had a big poster. 19 days until 98% of middle american families get a tax increase. i assume the poster says 13 days today. the amazing thing is, i was a with in 2003. -- whip in 2003. nobody was saying at the time
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these would be great for 98% of all american taxpayers. the truly amazing thing is, from the white house to most democrats on the house floor, these tax packages, which frankly, if they were here, they were not saying 98% of this is great but we do not like the couple percent. 90% of the white house is essential to the economic future of families and the country. we are only two percentage points removed from people who want them all to people who say we have to have 98% of these changes in tax law that went in over a decade ago. i hope we can get the right thing done for the american families.
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the senate conference has been largely unified on that for some time. i cannot imagine. i would not be supportive of a proposal that had permanent tax reduction of for a substantial portion of americans. my own view would be to not raise taxes on anyone. we will deal with the package that comes over from the house. the majority will have a chance to change it. we will see what they want to do. our goal is to prevent taxes
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from going up on anybody at the end of the year. if we know under current law, that will happen, it requires action in advance. we will take a look at what the house sends over. it is great they will send a proposal that apparently makes permanent tax rates established in the bush years for 90% of america. my preference would be for that rate to apply to all taxpayers. >> the problem with this proposal, what it does with those worth $1 million. their taxes immediately revert to what the old policy was. >> i can only tell you what my personal preference would be. not raise taxes on anyone. ats revenue measures begin the house of representatives. we will deal with the package when it comes over. >> some groups may interpret that. >> we will deal with the package
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when it comes over. >> is it time for a senate debate on gun control? >> it will be up to the majority leader. he would like to turn to that next year. at that time, but i think right now, people are thinking about the catastrophe in connecticut last week. the majority leader will have an opportunity to determine what matters will be scheduled. thank you. >> now, white house press senate -- press secretary jay carney talks about the proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff. other topics include last week's school shooting. this is part of the briefing. >> welcome to the white house. i have no announcements -- announcements. i am here to answer questions.
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>> during the election, the president underscored the promise to the american people. [indiscernible] now the white house proposal is to let people making up to four budgets thousand dollars bill without a tax increase. how do you justify the broken promise? large that the reduction package is a worthwhile goal,
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and has shown an evident willingness to meet the republicans halfway. if you think about where he started, his initial proposal, the plan he put a coat -- put forward was to achieve $1.60 trillion in revenue. he has now come down. the republicans started at 800 and moved up to one. the president has come halfway. he hopes the republicans will do the same. that is the essence of compromise. on revenue, the president has come more than halfway. in an effort to try to reach an agreement with the republicans in the house and broadly in congress because it is the right thing to do. he will not accept a deal that, in order to protect some of the
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wealthiest americans from having their taxes go up, shift the -- shifts the burden on the senior and middle class. the fact he is willing to compromise and have rates go up on those making $400,000 above demonstrates his good faith effort to reach a compromise. and still have a package that is balanced and asks the wealthiest to pay more. enact significant spending cuts, and it puts us on a sustainable path. the alternative, if you think about it, makes no sense. here is an opportunity to do something that has been set as a goal for a long time, which is to reach a bipartisan compromise on deficit reduction for $4 trillion. take all the pieces and put them together. we are very close to being able to cheat -- to achieve that.
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the president has demonstrated an obvious willingness to compromise and to move more than halfway toward the republicans. to leave the offer on the table, including the $1.22 trillion cuts the president has put forward, because you do not want to ask a 18900 $50,000 a year to pay more in taxes, would be a shame. the president believes the opportunity is there. the parameters of the deal art -- is clear -- are clear. he hopes the republican will meet him on behalf and do something that would be very good for the american people, the middle class, and our economy. >> there is another alternative
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for the entire campaign, he talked about raising taxes on the top 2%. he says that was the essential theme. you talk about standing here yesterday parent for a budget thousand dollars, you are not the top 2%. you are not the top 1%. >> the president did have a proposal we have put forward that achieves that. he has put a proposal that still asks the wealthiest americans, those making $400,000 and over, to pay more on their income taxes. there are other elements to it to achieve the revenue goal and that includes asking the wealthiest to pay more. the point i am making is consistent with your question,
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which is, yes, he has demonstrated a willingness to move towards the of remove it -- .o move the fallback achieves nothing like what a bigger deal would do. , would extending current los lose hundreds of billion dollars in revenues. most of the money would go to millionaires. when you extend tax cuts for those making under 200 vicky thousand dollars, everybody who makes more than that benefits. if you only extend -- if you extend the tax cuts for everybody making up to $1 million, everybody making more a
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gets a significant tax cut on their first million dollars. millionaires, billionaires, a lot of money out of this proposal. the proposal is to give another tax cut to the wealthiest americans. that would not pass the senate. you saw nancy pelosi say democrats will not vote for it. it is not a credible alternative. if we do not do a grand bargain, a bigger deal, then there is an option to deal with the tax portion of this. he would support that. >> you keep making it sound like the choice is between what the president proposed and plan b period going back to what he said before he was elected, the promise was never to allegedly
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thousand until i win, and we will see what the offer. >> by -- never $250,000 until i win, and we will see what they offer. >> reduce our revenue targets. the point the president always made it -- is it is not his preferred option but he knew he would have to compromise to reach an agreement. we have to have balance. it has to ask the wealthiest americans to pay more so the burden is not unduly placed on children with disabilities and others, and that is what his proposal has maintained, those principles.
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the proposal, still, with its one to one in this proposal, ratio of revenues of spending cuts, achieves, combined with the $1.10 trillion he signed into law in discretionary spending cuts last year, close to $4 jury in in deficit reduction. if i could go back to the first point, republicans say the goal is to reduce the deficit and reduce spending. there is an opportunity on the table to achieve $1.20 trillion in additional spending cuts. it seems like folly to walk away from the opportunity because you do not want to ask someone making $995,000 a year to pay a dime more in in tax -- in dumb -- income taxes. >> my first question is, are
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negotiations still active? >> lines of communications remain active. the president hopes compromise can be reached. the parameters of the deal are clear. if you look at the offers, proposals and counter a proposal, he hopes the republicans will join him on the path and take advantage of the opportunity and locked in -- locked in -- locking in -- lock in. lines of communication remain open and we hope the opportunity is not wasted. >> does that mean you are
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talking? >> i do not have anything specific to reach out to you. it is the case today that lines of communication remain open. there is an opportunity. the president put forward an offer that represents him moving halfway towards the republicans on revenue and moving more than halfway with republicans on spending cuts. it's still adheres to his principles. that is very important. we hope the republicans understand it would be a terrible waste to toowalk away. >> has the shooting in connecticut affected the tone that all? >> no. these are excellent questions. there has been good reporting on this. it is hard to know what the impact of an event like that is
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on the way that lawmakers and others in washington approach other issues. as the president said in newtown, a tragedy has a unimaginable -- as unimaginable reminds us what really matters. he certainly believes it is the responsibility of everyone in washington to work together to try to do important things for the american people and the american economy. that is on issues related to gun violence, the economy, and people's livelihood. to the extend an event like that, as tragic as it is, brings us a little closer together,
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both in the nation and in washington, that would be a good thing. it is hard to measure an impact like that. >> the president supported the measures. as president, he has only signed into law legislation that allows funds. is he reassessing his more recent record on gun control? >> the president's positions have been beyond what you cited. i am sure that was an oversight. including the support for the real station of assault weapons. his support for the gun loophole, which allows people to buy weapons without going through the background checks -- >> [indiscernible] >> can i finish? i would appreciate it.
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we have not done enough to addressed -- to address gun violence. it is a complex problem. requires more than one solution. not only re-examining our gun laws, but also for engaging mental health. while there is no one answer to the problem, it is clear we cannot go to our separate corners and our separate talking points because that inevitably leads to an impasse. that is why the president yesterday afternoon had discussions with his cabinet, members of the senior staff, and the vice president, to begin looking for ways the country can move forward and respond to the tragedy, and if you look at the cabinet members the president had met with, they underscore
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the comprehensive way in which the president views the problem. he will, as he said, in the coming weeks, engage with the american people, lawmakers, members of the administration, law-enforcement officials, parents, communities, to try to find answers to the problem. that includes his support for legislation, like the assault weapons ban that addresses issues of access to guns, and will include other issues he things are part of the gun violence. >> is he considering measures, gun laws or mental health, right now? >> he is supportive of the senator's intent to revive it
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legislation for the assault weapons ban. he supports legislation that addresses the problem of the gun show loophole. there are other elements of gun law legislation. ammunition clips. my point is it goes beyond that. he is heartened by what we have all heard from some members of congress who have been longtime opponents of gun-control measures like the assault weapons can. -- ban. >> it sounds like from yesterday, there were no specifics yesterday. today, you are talking about his
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support. >> i said yesterday he supported -- >> you were talking about his support for the ban but you would not say whether he supported the senator's efforts. >> let me be clear, we are less than 48 hours from the vigil. the president is moving forward. in having discussions with the white house and members of his team, having discussions a moment ago to those who have introduced important ideas on how to move forward, whose decision to break from past positions and how they look at this is heartening and harbors an opportunity to move forward in a constructive way. we are still early in the process. i just want to be clear that in
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addition to his support for the removal of the assault weapons ban, which has long been stated, that would be something with his support, but it goes beyond that. his view is we need to address this in a way that, as i said yesterday, a knowledge as no single piece of legislation, no single restriction on access to a certain type of weapon, will solve this problem. we need to address it more broadly. >> he has not said gun in his public comments. you have republicans talking about a majority of republicans looking at their positions on gun control. >> you are trying to turn this into a political theater. that is not how the gut -- how
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the president use it. he met with first responders and with others in that community and he spoke with that community. he tried to convey the grief and the pain the american people are feeling and share with those who are suffering. at that time, he spoke about the fact we cannot tolerate these kinds of tragedies and we have to act and it would be unforgivable not to try to take steps that address the problem. that address our fundamental responsibility to take care of our children. he is true to his word, moving forward in the process.
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the conversation he had, the meeting he had yesterday, the conversation i just mentioned with the senator from west virginia and other conversations he will have going forward will reflect the approach he is taking. he does want to move. on sunday night, he wants to move in the coming weeks, which is a fairly short time. while he supports the removal of the assault weapons ban, he wants to expand the conversation beyond those specific areas of legislation to look at other ways we can address the problem. >> a lot of top democrats spent the campaign season saying do not touch social security and we can solve the issue without going into entitlement programs.
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what is the president's message to the lawmakers who promised social security cannot been -- cannot be touched? >> let's be clear about one thing. the president did not put it on the table. this is something republicans want. if i could please answer his question, i would appreciate it. the president did include it in his counterproposal, his counteroffer, as part of the process. i would note that this is a technical change to the way economists calculate inflation. it would affect every program that uses cpi in its calculations. it is not directed at one particular program. it would affect every program
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that uses cpi. also, the president would make sure the most vulnerable were exempted out of this change. but let's be clear. this is something republicans have asked for and it is part of an effort to find common ground with the republicans. the president has agreed to put this as part of his proposal. as part of a broad deficit- reduction package that includes asking the wealthiest to pay more so we can achieve the kinds of revenue targets necessary for a balanced approach. >> you can watch this briefing in its entirety on our website. we have created a special web page on the fiscal cliff. you can see other programs by going to c-span.org/fiscalcliff.
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>> next, a news conference with the brady campaign to reduce gun violence following the connecticut shootings. you will hear from people who had family members killed in gun violence. >> good morning. thank you for being here. i would like to thank the brady campaign for asking me to host this conference. thank you for those under extraordinary courage. gun violence has inflicted pain in in every corner of this country and ending lives too far too soon and leaving families scarred. at sandy hook elementary in newton, and shook all of us to the court. no parent should ever have to deal at the anguish and sorrow that families in newtown are
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dealing with today. one of the most difficult responses i have had in that office was to meet with mothers and fathers who were victimized by gun violence. nothing could match the pain they felt through their loss. the recent tragedy is unfortunately only the most recent of a long series of mass killings involving guns. this is especially horrific because it included the slaughter of children. in the weeks ahead, i'm sure we'll have plenty of opportunity to look for new ways to address this critical issue. we have to be certain that the voice of the families affected by gun violence are heard in this debate. as we prepare the 113th congress, it is the critical that both sides dedicate themselves to everything they
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can to prevent this violence. if our values as americans means anything at all, ensuring all of us us are entitled to enjoy our lives and live safely and freely from gun violence. i would like to and thank the president of the brady campaign. [applause] >> thank you, representative cicilline. thank you for being here. i'm dan gross, president of the brady campaign and center for preventing gun violence. i want to start by underscoring that this event is not about any organization or any group of organizations. it is about the voices you will hear from, the voices that have been touched by gun violence and everyone who wants to live in a safer nation. to that end, i want to begin by
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having everyone here who is here to have their voices heard to introduce themselves and tell you why they are here. >> my name is theresa hoover. my son was killed in the aurora theater shooting. >> my son was 27 and he died in the aurora on july 20. in addition, he saved his girlfriend. >> my name is karen. my son was killed in the aurora the shooting in july. he was 24 years old and he saved his girlfriend. >> my name is jessica. my cousin was 26-year-old jonathan that was killed in aurora. >> our daughter jessica was killed and aurora on july 20 of
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this year. >> my sister was in the aurora shooting and she was 23 years old. >> i am her cousin. >> i'm here today with my wife in memory of our 19-year-old daughter who lost a life in the rampage shooting 12 years ago in nevada city, california. >> i am here today on behalf of my family in memory of my mother who was shot and killed in 2005 on memorial day in thousand oaks, california.
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>> my name is geraldine hill. my sister was killed off duty in michigan in october of 1994. >> i am here because my son was murdered may 10, 2007, in chicago, illinois, on a crowded bus. >> my sister was a freshman at virginia tech. she was only 18 years old. >> my father was a professor and taught civil engineering at virginia tech and he was killed on april 16, 2007. >> my name is john woods. my girlfriend was killed at virginia tech. >> i was shot four times at virginia tech and survived. i'm here for the 32 that did not. >> i'm from chicago and my son
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was murdered on church grounds while coming outside of the church. i am pleading for our leaders to help us. >> i am here on behalf of my daughter who was murdered on march 30, 2010, on south capitol street. she was 16 years old and my only child, with an ak-47. >> i came here from phoenix, arizona. i lost my son seven years ago. thank you. >> i'm here to give a voice to my baby sister who was killed when she was 15 in salt lake
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city. >> my daughter was killed in salt lake city. i was also seriously injured in 2007. >> my name is peter reed. my daughter mary was shot and killed in french class on the
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campus of virginia tech on april 16, 2007. >> my little brother was riddled with bullets on september 8, 2001, in sacramento, california. >> i am the father of daniel who was killed in the massacre
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at columbine high school. >> my name is paul wilson. my beautiful wife of 26 years was cowardly shot and killed in california, october 12, 2011. >> i am father of a boy who miraculously survived the shooting.
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he was in the line of fire. i'm here not to represent the entire town. i'm here on my own accord. >> the town he is talking about is newtown, connecticut. is there anybody else that has a story they want to share? i come to this issue through personal experience. my younger brother was shot at the observation deck of the empire state building. i want to point out today there will be 32 more families that know the pain and horror you have heard today. we pay a lot of attention to these mass shootings.
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we also have to be aware that this happens in our nation every day. as a nation, we're better than this. i want to thank you for coming and what we are confident is a momentous day in the history of this issue. we have people from all over the country. we are here because we love our children, our husbands, our wives, our brothers, and our sisters. we mourn them and we wish they had not been shot. this is a testament to our love for them. we are here because we love our country. we are better than this as a nation. we're here from tucson, aurora, virginia tech, and newtown,
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connecticut. names have become iconic in the bizarre gun violence. we know that america is greater than those awful moments. we envision an america that is known as the nation that solves this terrible gun violence academic once and for all. we can do this. shootingfriday's mass changed everything, and it has. it is a tipping point. senators have shifted their position. republican television commentator said sandy hook changed everything. president obama said we cannot tolerate this any more. friday changed everything. for me was the shooting in 1997 on the observation deck that changed everything.
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that is when my brother was shot and our dear friend was killed. for others it was any of the places you just heard. for some it was sandy hook elementary school in newtown. for jim and sarah brady, a day in 1981 changed everything when jim a stand behind the armed guards but was still struck by gun violence. that did change everything. every day in america, everything changes for hundreds more families. every year in america, 100,000 americans are shot, 30,000 of them fatally. there is so much we can do to prevent this carnage. 40% of gun sales take place without a background check. no questions asked. felons and domestic abusers can easily get guns.
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74% of nra members support closing this hole. we need a sustained, thoughtful, national conversation about solutions to our gun violence epidemic. a conversation that is respectful of the second amendment, but cognizant of the risks posed to our families and neighborhoods, like in the cases you heard about today. none of these policies have anything to do with second amendment rights. this is the conversation the american public wants to have. those who own guns and those who do not, we are speaking out, based on one simple idea. we are better than this. we are here to make our voices
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heard. the voices of everyone that just want to live in a safer nation. we will take that message to the halls of congress and directly to the white house. we are not going away until america's gun policies to truly change and that we do everything we can to protect our children and our communities. we have shown that we are better than this. thank you for being here and thanks to all of you who share your stories and to have the
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courage. now we'll hear from tom, who will share some additional thoughts. tom? >> thank you, dan. i'm here today wearing my son's shoes. they are the shoes he was wearing in 1999 when he was done down at columbine high school. it is amazing we have the same size shoes. he was a member of the debate team.
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i now wear his shoes in the great debate. we had that debate in the year after columbine. legislators refuse to close the loophole so we took it to the people. people close the gun show loophole. that same night, but closed it 60% to 40%. americans will step up when there elected officials do not. they vote for reasonable gun laws. we cannot put every measure before a vote. we have to be able to count on our elected officials to do that for us.
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it would be easy to be discouraged after 13 years of this activity. easy to be discouraged. but i cannot be, because i have hope and these people have hope that we can do something to change it. these people refused to be statistics. they want to be the stories of ordinary americans. they have been through hell and they do not want it to happen to the rest of you. they are ordinary people that were thrown into an extraordinary tragedy. they didn't ask to be thrown into that like so many others that dan mentioned. it happens to so many people. we are not here to ask for your pity. we're asking to share our stories with few. these stories could be your stories. it could be any one of you. it could be your story.
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the people here today have not given up hope despite the tragedy that has befallen them. they refuse to listen and to accept that message of hopelessness that we have been hearing so often in america. "there is nothing you can do about this." "you can't keep guns away from criminals." that's not what america is
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about. that is not the america i grew up in. we can have hope for change. we will not accept those excuses. the folks here are here to ask for that conversation. we know that silence and inaction can be deadly. and in fact it has been. like most americans, we are saying that enough is enough. we are better than this. it's time to talk and time to act. thank you. >> thank you, tom. you don't need to edit "ave maria" over these remarks. i want to point out one thing that tom talk about, which is this notion of a debate. the conversation at the american public wants to have is not a debate. this is something most americans agree on. the only place in this country where this is a heated
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political debate, the only place is in that building behind us. there is a disconnect between what the american public wants and what the elected officials are doing about it. we're confident that this tragedy will shine such a spotlight on that disconnect that our elected officials are going to do the right thing and join the conversation. that's what we're asking for today. i would like to introduce two of my newer heroes. >> good morning. i'm going to talk about jessica, my daughter, and how she died. i think it is important for all americans to understand that this should have and could have been fixed and long, long time ago.
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she went to the movies with her best friend who was visiting from texas. they sat down in what should been a relaxed evening and all hell broke loose. when the bullets started flying, her friend pushed her to the ground where she was first hit in the leg. he tried his best to stop the flow of blood and protect her when a bullet went flying through the seat that should have protected her and hit her in her head.
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that horrendous scene replays in my head over and over again, as it does for every other member of our aurora family. brent, who was with my daughter, was composed enough. when the bullets stopped flying, he removed himself to the railing of the theater. he took his cell phone and called me to let me know that my daughter had been murdered. that is a hero.
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congress, the senate, and our president have an opportunity to be a hero as well and stop the bloodshed. it is sad that it has taken 20 young lives to have this conversation began in earnest. we hope that there are positive changes that come from this. tom mentioned that this could happen to any of us, and it can. don't fool yourself. and you're no longer safe to go to a church or go to the movies or enter a school, there is something horribly wrong with our society. we need to make those changes and we need to make sure that this never happens again in our country. thank you. >> thank you for continuing to have the courage to share your story. i would like to introduce andre to share his story.
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>> while we are training security forces to combat terror, we are also addressing the needs of the yemeni people by delivering humanitarian and economic aid. we're also working with the international community to redouble efforts for the impoverished country. we do this because it is right to help a country with their challenges but also because this
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work addresses human needs that left unmet can accelerate radicalization and because our partners need to know we are in it for more than our own security. in somalia after more than two decades of strife, this all-time mark the end of the transition. within the parliament and president. these are the hopeful signs of a new era in somalia that -- and that long suffering country. the mission in somalia had a strong financial support and training from the u.s. and partners. it could expel al shabob the major cities. -- from your cities. it is fragmented by dissension and much weakened. we can all agree that is good news. the al qaeda core is on the path to defeat. the two most dangerous
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affiliate's have suffered their worst setbacks in years. if we only had a static set of challenges, we would all be feeling great. but the tumultuous events of the last couple of years in the middle east and north africa have added complications to this picture. in mali, the islamists are tending to is -- consolidate their safe haven. and the subsequent rebellion with weapons from a libyan stocks in bamako have brought and stability. -- has brought instability. we can -- weakened domestic
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security institutions and civil strife create the kind of environment that terrorists are drawn to. libya has provided one such case where extremists can cause real problems for states undergoing difficult transitions. another example is syria. buckeye that and iraq six to establish there are working to hijack to suit their own extremist needs. last week we designated as an alias of aqi, already listed as a foreign terrorist organization. as they try to wrap themselves in the legitimacy of the -- to add to this list of challenges and to west africa,
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the factions continue to carry out attacks in nigeria and win recruits and public sympathy. the number and sophistication of the attacks has increased while the group focuses principally on local ledger in issues, there are reports it is developing financial links other extremists. i need to make something of a detour. while no state actors like al qaeda remain at the top of the list, we have seen a resurgence of state sponsorship terrorism, especially in activities of the iranian regime. with the iranian revolutionary guard corps. in addition to the critical support hezbollah as providing
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for the assad regime, over the past year, there has been iranian-backed terrorism. hezbollah activity has reached levels unseen since the 1990's. the forces also saw to attack in a georgia, india, thailand, and here in washington, d.c. taking steps to crakcdown on his activities has been a top priority -- crackdown on these activities has been a top priority. targeting finances and the seizure of $150 million from the lebanese canadian bank which facilitated a vast narcotics and money laundering scheme. we are urging countries to take
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a wide range of steps to crack down on hezbollah. we have been engaging with partners in europe and are optimistic about the prospects. we have been working with our partners in other regions and countries where hezbollah has a significant presence and infrastructure, including south east asia, south america, and west africa. we are pleased with the progress we are making. we will continue to take action so has the law recognizes its behavior is unacceptable and cannot blogger offering within communities at home and abroad. as we have seen, the world of counter-terrorism is changing fast. some of the most dangerous threats received it noticeably but new ones are emerging. these cannot be viewed with
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complacency. the political transformations in the middle east and north africa are having a profound effect on our form policy, including our counter-terrorism. aq was not a part of the popular uprising that led to democratic tensions since -- democratic transitions across the middle east and north africa. well never expected this to be a painless process, revolutionary transformations are dislocating and unpredictable by their nature. there are risks and we must seek to reduce them even as we work to help with these states in transition find long-term success. we need continued engagement and strategic patients. we need to work towards our long-term objectives despite the surprises and setbacks we encounter. we greeted the revolutionary advance of the last two years with the belief the turn to democracy and accountable government but ultimately
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deflate extremism and marginalize its advocates. i strongly believe that logic remains valid. these are still early days and we need to see these reservations through. diplomatic engagement is essential. violent extremists oppose -- pose a great threat to them and their people's aspirations than they do to the united states and western interests. preoccupied by the difficult economic developments and political reforms, some of these governments are slow to recognize the challenge but the attack on our facilities in benghazi and extreme violence elsewhere in the region began to change that. these governments increasingly showed the political will to tackle the terrorist threat. in many cases, they lack the resources and expertise to handle the complex and difficult challenge. this is a unique opportunity for
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the international community to help build the capacity of these nations which are eager to take on terrorism. this task -- comes with great urgency. it must address it now before the threat becomes more serious. some of these governments have doubts about u.s. counter- terrorism objectives. some seek to implicate us in oppressive acts carried out by former regime security services. we will have to work through those ideas and we can agree with these new government that the predecessors regimes are not what we seek. on the contrary, there are numerous factors that feed into radicalization, oppressive measures by security services was among the most potent. the goal of our counter- terrorism systems is to help countries move away from press of approaches towards the building true rule of law framers. the better our partners are at
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using the criminal justice agencies, the less they will resort to extract method to crack down on domestic threats. our security benefits, when countries do with that in their own borders, so we do not need to take dramatic steps that inevitably cause a backlash and radicalization that is why we are working closely with into agency partners, the department of justice and homeland security to help form partners develop their law enforcement and secure their borders. our anti-terrorism assistance program is the u.s. government's premier counter-terrorism capacity building program for criminal justice agencies. from bomb detection and crime scene investigation to border aviation, eta built capacity in a wide spectrum of counter- terrorism skills offering
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courses, seminars and consultations. in the last fiscal year, the train more than 9800 participants from 50 partnering nations. this is a whole government of fact, working with the department of justice, we deploy a resident legal advisers to u.s. embassies to develop law enforcement sector capacity specifically to deal with terrorism. the rla's will provide a more basic mentoring skills and bring prosecutors and law-enforcement agencies up to a point where they can pursue more complex types of cases, including those involving terrorist crimes. we have these advisers in a growing number of countries. these are two of our capacity building efforts and there are others. the partnership was helped build a capacity of 10 countries across the region with training and support so they can tighten
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border security and prevent attacks. the program brings together civilian -- civil and military experts. the past the building has come in for criticism at times but when the country has political resolve, it can make extraordinary resolve with assistance from others. indonesia, perhaps my favorite example. there the government has dedicated itself to creating a civilian leader -- legal structure of law enforcement institutions to fight terrorism. indonesia has scored more than 100 consecutive convictions in terrorist cases and the police has had major successes in breaking up terrorist cells linked to violent extremist organizations. many of us saw -- thought at the time several years ago that
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indonesia hung in the balance. no one thinks that now. the capacity building can work. we must continue to innovate and improve our efficacy. i said at the outset that we were determined to do a better job in countering the violent extremism. the miti about our efforts to legitimize the narrative. we established the center for strategic counter-terrorism communications. house at the state department, it is a true interest agency endeavor with the mandate from president obama. they do many things including working with our embassies on a range of activities to undermine extremist discourse. is digital out each team pushes back openly against propaganda
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on line in the arabic, perdue, and somali -- urdu and somali. this campaign which included nearly 1000 online engagements with banners and videos that mimicked aq's own messaging style battle the extremists which saw how anti aq yemeni's for picking up on our messages and themes. the extremists expressed concerns about the new u.s. policy of intellectual and ideological challenge of the mujahadeen. these are not the only aq supporters who took notice. early in the year, a group well- known to scholars of the subject warned participants to
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be careful in their discussion of somalia to avoid playing into the hands of the digital outreach team. recently in october, another prominent forum hosted an extended discussion of the threat emanating from csc's efforts. we can say they have made the annamese it up and take notice. aq propagandists can no longer spread their poison uncontested in virtual safe-haven spirit another area refocus on its identify and addressing potential radicalization. one priority area is in prisons. many incarcerated prisoners will eventually be released and many to take steps to decrease the likelihood they will return to violence. prison is a time when individuals are cut off from the previous extremas contacts so making them effectively open to positive change.
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there are concerns about radicalization and into the prison setting and effective prison management can help reduce these risks. to deal with this challenge, will work with the un's into regional crime and justice research institute and a researchngo to develop an international initiative on prison rehabilitation. more than 35 countries, many multilateral organizations and experts have participated in this initiative. it provides experts suggest to compare notes in is critically important area. unique -- the un agency work with are setting -- using a set of practices to shape the technical assistance they are offering to interested governments. we have made an enormous amount of progress tackling this issue of the past several years but there is still much that can be done and should be done.
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clear, theree made is a critical role for the policy in the broader counter- terrorism effort. but the greeting new polish ships -- new partnerships, standing capacity building , the state department has a central role to play. this led secretary clinton to transform the office of the count -- auspice of the coordinator of counter- terrorism. treating the bureau gave us a real boost but it is only a start. if there is one thing we have learned, our approach if it is to gain traction and be sustainable, we cannot do it alone. beneath a broad coalition of former partners to press -- we need a broad coalition of
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partners. last year launched a major initiative and established the global counter-terrorism forum, advancing the president's goal of building an international architecture for dealing with 21st century threats. she gtcf and member statez brings together donors and major powers from around the globe and offers counter-terrorism something unique. a dedicated platform to compare practices, identify urgent need , and strengthen programming around the world. the group has already developed as practiced documents in combating, kidnapping for ransom, and prison the radicalization. with its core goals of strengthening civilian institutions, the forum is ideally suited to play a central
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role in our collective response to the challenges. in the horn of africa and southeast asia. last week at the ministerial in abu dhabi, -- the center, based in the capital, will serve police and educators, policymakers and aims to give them the training and tools to design and implement effective measures to defeat extremist ideology. we heard from a range of members about the variety of ways they contribute to the forums and success. this includes strengthening will law restitutions. the gtcf is supporting the
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creation of another international center of excellence. an international institute for justice and the rule of law which we expect to open in tunis by the end of 2013. the institute will provide foundational advanced training for police, prosecutors, judges, prison officials and parliamentarians and help countries transitioning to democracy. we believe the answer to complete an important role not just in ensuring the national gamal justice have the necessary counterterrorism training and skills but contributed to wider rule of law institutional development in the region. its mission should not only be to provide channing but to educate a new generation of criminal justice officials said training in tolls -- and tools used stick. the gtcf is making a real difference but we're only scratching the surface in terms of its potential.
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now we can look forward to the day when countries around the globe have more of a common understanding of the nature of a terrorist threat and a common playbook for attacking it. to the centers of excellence, working groups and other gtcf lots of activities. i thank you for your patience but let me conclude with a few observations. first, there are clear indications the al qaeda message continues to wane in popularity. we see this in the election of moderates in libya in july in a protest by libyan citizens against melissa dominance and extremism after the attack, facilities in benghazi. the violence and chaos on offer from the extremists simply does not resonate with the majority of people. we see similar signs elsewhere.
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that is not a reason to relax. in terrorism, small numbers and have enormous impact and with strong leadership, groups can revive, expanding cause great damage. this is a moment for leading into the problem of violent extremism, for continuing to degrade terrorist groups and shape the environment they operate in. united states will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to protect itself from terrorism. as we go forward capacity building, countered -- counter- terrorism diplomacy, these are the growth areas for the future to . propagating what we and others have learned throughout the international community and establishing its durable coalition of like-minded partners is vital. we spent the last years in our domestic and foreign partners cutting a path forward along these lines.
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to achieve the success in need, we will need to push farther ahead, expand efforts and devote more resources and attention. as i prepare to leave government, i am convinced we can do this. we really can make a difference for our common future. i want to take a very much of the look forward to your questions. [applause] -- i want to thank you very much and i look forward to your questions. [applause] >> thank you. i like to turn over to bruce riedel. >> thank you dan and thank you, dan. it is a pleasure to be here with the two dan's. nd to salute dan benjamin's service to our country. i had the pleasure of working with dan in the previous administration. he is a remarkable partner to work with and i think you saw
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today the wealth of ideas and the enthusiasm he brings to this effort. he gave you today remarkable wealth of data about the obama administration's strategy dealing with counter-terrorism. he was rather modest in talking about his own role and that of sct. i'm still stuck in pre-bureau terminology. is that part of the u.s. government that tries to bridge diplomacy and espionage. it is not an always easy bridge to make. diplomats often look this askance at the well as an irish and they always look with great wariness of the role of the
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diplomat. we cannot kill our way to dealing with the problem of al qaeda. this morning you heard a lot about the kinds of programs the obama administration has put a dent a place. thell focuse more pon enemy since he heard a lot about our side of the equation today. and look at the challenges we face a had a bit more than the programs we have and the place to deal with them. on the bottom line, dan and i are in violent agreement on most of these points. you will hear a lot of amen choruses out of me. i hope to put in a few nuances on a few particular issues. and that me begin where dan began -- four years ago.
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we were on the edge of calamity in south asia. not only with the al qaeda core virtually under no pressure whatsoever, we had just seen the worst terrorist attack since 9/11, the attack on the city of mumbai. we now know a great deal more. it was a combo platter between the group everyone gives credit for, the so-called army of the pure, as well as the pakistani intelligence services. we know that from the testimony s. two americans in court we have good reason to believe there was a third player planning the operation which has maintained a very low profile at the time and that was al qaeda itself. this attack underscored how dangerous the situation had
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become in south asia four years ago. dan is right emphasizing this is where the administration can rightfully claim its made its greatest progress. the al qaeda core is an american phrase talking about this but the more proper term to hottest -- jihadists use is mother al qaeda. there remained the epicenter of the global g. hottest movement -- jihadist movement. its objective is the most dangerous in the world, which is prompt a war between two nuclear weapon states. and that the -- efforts to keep that from happening have to remain the gold standard of all counterterrorism efforts.
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president obama has every right and so this stc and secretary clinton, every right to be proud of the damage we have inflicted on al qaeda's core. not just the elimination of high-value targets but the successful prosecution of the drone war. the ambassador did not use the d word. i am in a position where i can use it. tghe drones have proven to be remarkably successful. of course they come with the perfect -- with a price. what is most striking about this is the prosecution of this conflict has come with as keeping the government of pakistan as much as possible in the dark and over the objections of the government of pakistan during president obama made an extraordinary decision in 2011
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after he and his predecessor provided the government of pakistan with over $25 billion in military and economic assistance, despite al qaeda, when the moment of truth came we decided it cannot trust the government of pakistan. he was of course right. the reason we have been more successful last four years is because we have taken more confrontational and hostile approach to the government of pakistan. ambassador benjamin said none of that and probably will not confirm i just said it and the questions and answers, nor should he. but we should have no illusion that we've come to new conclusions about our pakistani partner. secretary panetta underscore that again this weekend. for the third time in a row, he went to south asia and decided to skip one stop, as lama but -- islamabad.
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we have a very difficult ongoing relationship with pakistan, try to get that right is going to be inue to be the har-- to difficult. we need to work with pakistan and realize it is often on the wrong side. that may turn to the arab awakening. which dan illustrated as the new challenge that has emerged over the course of the last two years. two years ago on this stage, dan and i had done an event and we set within two years, four arab dictators would be toppled, if it would be saved by saudi tanks, a 6th would be struggling to stay in to the country and a seventh would be on his way out, you would abbas said the brookings institution clearly does not know who to hire. they have some crazy people up
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here. no one predicted what would happen in the arab world. no one could anticipate the space it would create and al qaeda did not anticipate it either was caught so badly on the back foot for the first six months that it seemed completely irrelevant to the whole structure. but al qaeda is a learning organization. and that the organization. it does not -- an adaptive organization. it does not seek to be popular. it is about killing people and that is usury and never popular thing to do. it is thought to exploit the failed spaces that have opened up. mali, libya, syria. yemen, we have made some progress closing some of those bases. it is a daunting challenge, a challenge that has to be met by
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getting our new partners to react in ways different than our old partners. we were the most enthusiastic supporters for 50 years of the states in the middle east. everyone of those dictators with few exceptions was our close partner. the ones who survived are still are close partners. handling that difficult juggling act will be its effect -- a difficult problem. but the strategy of trying to persuade our new partners to do it in a different way is absolutely right on the mark. the most difficult of all those they prove to be al qaeda in iraq. if there is one that is the nightmare is more than any other, it is that. this is an organization we have
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successfully decapitated to kinetic action over and over again and it is like the energizer bunny. now it is found a new front in syria. let me conclude briefly with three big challenges ahead. one -- the arab awakening is not over. it may have stalled temporarily in damascus, but the days of political change in the arab world have not run out and the arab awakening reminds you of what it is like to continue to claim more victims. and more at the space where a al qaeda can move. second big concern i have is the is really a palestinian front. it is the narrative part of al qaeda. it is always been the issue
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that al qaeda successfully exploited over the years to recruit. the book rights under the profits banner, notes that whenever we are in trouble, but always with the israeli issue. more and more observers believe the two state solution is dying in front of us. all the efforts we can do on countering marriages will have a big hole and the them if we cannot find a way to get something moving. left to last -- last and not least, how we manage the departure of the transition at the afghanistan will be crucial to how we deal with the first problem. the drones despite their brilliance cannot operate on missions flown all the way from
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nevada. they have database. there is only one base nearby and that is afghanistan. for the foreseeable future, we need to find a way to make that work. on that note, i encourage you all to ask really hard questions to dan and give me softballs. >> before i open it up to discussion, i will ask a question of my own. for both our speakers. but we've seen happen in the last decade from a we have seen the spread of the ideology and operational connections. at times the places i did not anticipate. what makes some of these pieces
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especially difficult for me is the linkages to al qaeda. they are there but not necessarily terribly strong. so there are questions on whether if we engage and tweet these organizations as enemies, are we making them enemies and turn them into groups double act of the target the united states and personnel. if we do not do so, are we allowing them to become strong? only after there is a serious problem. i welcome poke our speakers thoughts -- both our speakers thoughts. >> as always bruce's analysis is always brilliant and spot on theory of afford to -- spot.
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i look forward to coming back when no longer have a government badge to discuss those issues. regarding your question, the longer i looked at this, the more i agree that we need to have as a central aspect of our strategy the detachment of those elements that are not focused on striking us and the continued application of pressure on those that are. if we look for example in africa, where most of the activity is going on these days, certainly outside of syria, we seek in,mali -- we see in northern mali two groups that are terrorists in our position.
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that is the islamic maghreb which harbors long-term ambition to do what all al qaeda affiliate's do which is tracking the remains of their identity and a splinter group from al qaeda run by former eqim commander. there also two other tuarge groups -- tuareg groups. emerging from discussions in new york over the international community's approach to mali and the region. there is a strong feeling those tribes live there and will be there for a long time. did not have an ideology of
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wanting to strike the united states. they have a set of grievances, some that has an bound up with bad actors. it is in our interest to pry them away as best we can, that is why establishing a dialogue with the north is a part of the resolutions on mali. in general, it is wise to limit the number of enemies you have and not create new ones. at the same time, all those of taken on the aq affiliates that is to have that thought. in our treatment of al shabaab, we try to distinguish between those sort east africa, and al qaeda, recognizing that lots of al shabaab is only concerned
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with what goes on in somalia. similarly but look at - we see a group that is completely heterogeneous. some may be interested in terrorist activity. we try to take cognizance of that in our policy. sometimes is tough to have the stick -- the scalpel you need. >> i think we are very much in agreement on the nature of the problem. what we're seeing is aq 3.0, the third generation of al
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qaeda. the first generation was the founding generation that planned the original tax. the second generation, post 9/11 generation of post may 2011 generation, one of its features is more decentralization from the core. another feature i find quite interesting as they seem to have read the memos we brought out of the house that -- out of the hide out. osama bin laden's own messages on how to change. the old brand is toxic. do not call yourself a al qaeda. make sure if you can, try to come up with a different name. they're still helping us because they may have given up the name
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but they continue to use the old flag. so it is relatively easy to say they're losing the fight, they're still al qaeda. but that is a mistake they will probably overcome some time that of the future. it makes for a more difficult challenge and here obviously dan's core point of using a scalpel is the essence of a smart strategy. we no longer talk about the global war of terrorism because we do not want every terrorist to be our enemy. that was an understandable mistake made in the russian of the first days after 9/11. it took us 7 years to self- correct from that and it is long overdue. i'm glad to see this administration early on may deaths of correction. >> i would like to open it up. please wait for the microphone and please also identify yourself. >> i hate to ask this question
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-- this program has been called counter-terrorism report but given the way the united states has racked up the cold war -- ratched up the cold war, the obama administration, george bush and dick cheney look kind of like saints. should we call this super terrorist report because that is what the united states is really engaged in? the use of the drone is a new dimension in this process and i hate to see that come to haunt the united states because we have shooters and hopefully some
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drones won't land on these public places. >> we have seen in the last four years some of the bush administration policies be discontinued. the drone campaign being one of them during, some of them being celebrated. are there other areas where you would like to see further acceleration? let let me begin by saying there is very little i can say about those programs. but there is a significant difference between the policies that of all the conquest of a very large southwest asian country and some of the others
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under discussion. i think your description is not really apt. i think we really have worked, as the president said, so counter-terrorism is part of the foreign-policy but not our foreign policy. an alibi -- it does not all serve our counter-terrorism goals. after 9/11, degrading creative springs of american ingenuity were set into force -- the creative springs of american ingenuity were set into force and tactics were developed. for those of you writing out leap forwardreat
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in special operations in the united states is one of the major developments of the last decade and a half. there'll be continuations along those lines. i would like to leave office thinking that we have innovated a fair bid on the civilian side and the program i was discussing and others like them will be an important part of the solution over the long term because the kinetics are not going to win this war. they may degrade the groups and called them lots of problems but the violent extremism, the ideology, the networks, they will not go away or even be sufficiently diminished until there is a lot of pressure from the communities in which they are located and governments that
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control the territory, until there are durable laws countering these terrorist groups. >> i write the mitchell report. i went to ask you both a question. triggered by the characterization of the current state of affairs. last week in the report was introduced, global trends 2013. i was surprised at what seemed to be a relatively minor portion
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of the report that focused on this issue. the worst of observations made in a report that feel like they might be it in the opposition to what has been said here this morning. one is that islamists driven terrorism is on the wane and may well end via a relic of the past by 2030 . that could be a slight exaggeration but they suggest that. second, they suggest the narrative of the u.s. as the devil narrative is also on teghe
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he way out and that in general, there were lots of other things that got a lot more attention than this. my question is, assuming i am giving this report affair of valuation -- a fair evaluation, i am curious whetheryo you think the nix observations are based on fact or whether they're based on hope and whether they jive with the world in this regard as the two of you see it? >> i will start off with a half punt.
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i was in abu dhabi last week. i have not seen the report but i will say this, looking at what we saw in tahrir square, in tunis and many places, it seems the population that have historically produced lots of extremists, those populations are not interested in violent extremism but building a better lives for their families and their communities within the international system. there's always a dangerous threat of the frustration of rising expectations but at the same time, the fundamental orientation was pretty clear. the is the basis fort office relative optimism, then i concur with it.
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those big trends and a human events are the ones that will have a profound affect on what people think in the future. at the same time, i remain concerned that as long as there is increasingly dangerous technology out there, dangers ideology will try to get hold of it and use it. this is your sort of dialectic. it is something we need to worry about. i cannot want to say anymore about a report i have not written. i am saving that privilege for when i'm out of government. >> my attempt to download the report of the website have yet to succeed. but i did read the key judgments. my answer is maybe it all depends. what we're seeing going on in the islamic world today is a battle for the soul o. there are progressive forces
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which are fighting very hard to change at least a half century and not multiple sentries of politics. politics for decades in these countries has been about the police state. the police state was unaccountable. it could do anything it wanted to anybody at any time. naturally, that produced anger, resentment. since the west in general supported all those police states with lots of money and visits to the oval office, there was hatred produced against us. you're now seeing profound efforts at change in places like pakistan, egypt, and tunisia and how that battle goes will determine whether the nix prognosis of a less violent and
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extremist islamic world turns out to be right. the stakes are huge. the reality is the decision is not an american decision. we can help. and the kinds of programs filing -- fighting violent extremists can help. it can also be a real hindrance. the path of history tells us we are better at being on the wrong side than the right side. we need to decisively change that. this is the opportunity reface and the opportunity we need to seize. -- we face and the opportunity we need to cease. >> of what asked about -- i want qatar.abuotout
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a state poured all these arms into libya to help rebels there oppose gadhafi but a lot of those weapons disappeared. the same sort of thing is happening in syria. there is reason to believe some of those arms are in the wrong hands. in qatar, people come to the united states and its allies are very sympathetic and want to help. on the other hand, it is host sometimes to the leadership of hamas. their goal seems ambiguous.
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how do you deal with this and how to make sure -- the thing is you cannot make sure, given the libyan experience, that what they do is in the interests of the united states. of course they have their own interests to protect, but how do you manage that? >> we have a very strong and lively relationship withqatar. they are involved deeply in most of not all the major issues of the day in libya, syria and other places. both the -- are good friends of the united states. we talk to them frequently. -- good good work
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experiences working with them. we designated the -- this as part of our outreach to demonstrate to partners around the world that there are groups such not be supported that do not share the same kind of vision of syria in the future that we do and we have a company that -- accompanied that designation with lots of private discussions with officials from a range of countries that had been concerned about what is going on in syria in connection with the opposition. i think that's probably as far as i want to go. an ongoing issue.
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the problem of extremism and syria is a very serious one money to pay a lot of attention to. >> i will say this -- the challenge of american diplomacy faces is that on the one hand, we want to see the revolution succeed. with will law, accountability. at the same time, we are very much in bed with the old regimes that are still around. even more importantly, the kingdom of saudia arabia. ap plots -- aqa have played a critical role. one of the challenges of the second obama administration is to design a policy on both sides
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of the fence until the arab awakening becomes more clear and worked out phenomenon. people need to continue to be close allies of key partners like qatar, the uae and saudi arabia. in a perfect world, we would like to see the law reform and change. -- to see them reform and change. >> i see a bit of a difference between the two of you. ambassador benjamin started out talking of the changes of the last four years, many of which i think you have a strong right to be proud of. one of which was the waning support for al qaeda brought the.
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bruce riedel talked about al qaeda does not seek to be popular. what i want to ask you is what do you think is the significance of the popular support our lack of popular support for al qaeda? >> al qaeda had a brief moment of popular enthusiasm. unfortunately, after 9/11. pretty quickly. al qaeda from the beginning has always made one strategic mistake -- it kills too many muslims. and that is counter-productive

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Capitol Hill Hearings
CSPAN December 19, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EST

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